The Besnard Lakes: The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse
The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse - [JAGJAGUWAR]


I would never fully trust Canada. Ok, so it did provide us with some great artists such as Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, A Silver Mt. Zion, Arcade Fire and Johny Mitchel. But let's not forget Celine Dion, Bryan Adams and Alanis Morisette. Regarding Avril Lavigne, I'm not too certain yet, I have a weakness for good looking girls.

What you do have to give credit for, is their on growing alternative scene. They already provided us with the amazing "Neon bible" from Arcade fire, so I'd say 2007 started off quite good, and judging by the Besnard Lakes new album, they seem to intend to keep it that way.

The Besnard Lakes' dark horse is exactly what it implies. Melancholic and dark on one side, but noble, royal and beautiful on the other. Slow bits growing into angelic vocal harmonies, the Beach Boys and Pink Floyd as their main musical parents, and adding their musical surroundings from Montreal create this wonderfully dark beast.

"Disaster", the opening track, highlights the impact the Beach Boys have on the group; these vocal harmonies sound as if they came out of a Brian Wilson outtake; Backing rhythm guitars in the right bit, building melancholically with strings and keyboards, leading into distorted guitars that leak into this fragile construction.

"And you lied to me" includes an amazing guitar solo, very Gilmour-ish, pointing out once more how much the guitarwork gives their sound unique characteristics along with their vocal parts. "Devastation" is as its name, devastating; Blows in with an overcoming pressed-in musical sequence breaking into great guitar-drum part, ending with a kind of "White Stripes" Jack white vocal part. "Cedric's war" sound like a rainy day on the Beach Boys' favorite beach.

The Besnard Lakes gain some bonus points for Canada's musical export. And from what I heard, Alanis is working on some new material for a new album, so I guess Canada could use all the points it can get right now.

Roy Povarchik

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